Kerry Foes, Allies Air Their Views

From Associated Press

Chanting “Kerry lied,” hundreds of Vietnam veterans rallied in a Washington park against fellow veteran and Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John F. Kerry on Sunday, charging that soldiers died because of people like him.

The accusation was made by Larry Bailey, a U.S. Navy veteran and president of Vietnam Vets for the Truth. Bailey accused Kerry of lying three decades ago when he returned from Vietnam and testified before the Senate in 1971, alleging widespread atrocities by American troops.

Bailey said he and other veterans “served honorably and compassionately” during the war. His speech was interrupted by a shouting match between a Kerry supporter in a wheelchair, Vietnam veteran Bobby Mueller, and several anti-Kerry vets.


Before the rally, a group of Kerry supporters held a news conference nearby to defend the candidate and call for an end to the TV ads attacking his military record. “What we ought to be talking about is what’s happening today, and that includes the best person to lead us out of the mess we’ve got ourselves in Iraq,” retired Gen. Merrill A. McPeak, a former Air Force chief of staff, told reporters.

McPeak, who is a Kerry campaign advisor and a Vietnam veteran, said those who have questioned the five medals Kerry was awarded either weren’t directly serving with him in Vietnam or their accounts have been contradicted by other vets who were side-by-side with Kerry.